6 Ways to Recycle School Supplies

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Don't throw used school supplies in the trash. There are several recycling options for used binders, glue containers and markers. Photo: Shutterstock

Don’t throw used school supplies in the trash. There are several recycling options for used binders, glue containers and markers. Photo: Shutterstock

Winter marks the halfway point in the school year — the perfect time to de-clutter cubbies and clean out lockers.

But all those dried-out markers, empty glue sticks and dog-eared books need not end up in landfills. Companies like Crayola, Elmer’s Glue, Staples and more offer recycling programs to give battered backpack dwellers a second life.

Here’s how to recycle some common school supplies:

Binders: International upcycling company TerraCycle has partnered with office supply giant Staples to offer in-store binder recycling. For every used binder you bring in, you’ll receive a $2 credit toward the purchase of a new binder. Old binders are then upcycled or recycled for use in the creation of various new products.

Pens, pencils and highlighters: Fill a bag of empty writing utensils and click over to the Writing Instruments Brigade for a prepaid shipping label. Another TerraCycle initiative, this one in conjunction with PaperMate and Sharpie, the program turns old penning tools into products like plastic storage bins.

Markers: Everyone’s favorite art supply becomes liquid fuel for cars via Crayola’s ColorCycle program, available to schools across the continental United States and parts of Canada. The art supply company provides prepaid shipping labels to send used markers to a conversion facility.

Next page: Books, Glue and Ink Cartridges

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